Camp Joffre

 “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

La belle France. Yet even the most beautiful of gardens have both thorns and weeds. The group Eurocultures invited me to visit Camp Rivesaltes otherwise known as Camp Joffre where we would visit a memorial to some of its darker past. A very short distance from the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean and just the other side of the tracks lies the remnants of a concentration camp.

For nearly eight years I have tried to share with you some of the beauty in my chosen home. However, this scar must not be glossed over nor forgotten.

 

fullsizeoutput_456cfullsizeoutput_456e

dscn3354

dscn3358
Dedication of museum by Manuel Valls 2015
dscn3361.jpg
Inside the new museum

DSCN3367

DSCN3375
Reisepass

DSCN3377

DSCN3380
La Fuente Family

DSCN3382

DSCN3385

DSCN3387

DSCN3392

DSCN3394

DSCN3397
A starving child 1941
DSCN3398
Tools

DSCN3402

DSCN3404

DSCN3405
Belongings confiscated along with hopes and dreams…

DSCN3409

Testimony to man’s inhumanity to man.

Though the walls are crumbling and little remains of the buildings, many artifacts are carefully preserved in the new climate protected museum.

Rivesaltes Internment Camp – Camp Joffre opened in 1938 and was not to close its doors until 1970. This beautiful Country has had much pain, cruelty, and suffering inflicted on it and its people. Many of those coming through this camp did not originate in France but may have spent their final days here. With the rise of fascism rampant in numerous parts of the world, I felt it imperative to reblog this post.

 

Bisous,

Lea

 

Advertisements

44 thoughts on “Camp Joffre

  1. You are right to remind us. We have become complacent and that allows evil to flourish. We must never forget evil. It grows unchecked in dark place if we are not vigilant.

  2. Too many such stories are brushed aside and left to gather dust in history books…as if they are not part of our own lives and history. Thank you for sharing this, Léa.

  3. All is encompassed in the words, “Man’s inhumanity to man” We can be our worst enemy and unfortunately, it seems that when we begin to hate the hater, we have begun to perpetuate the one thing that keeps the cycle going. HATE.

    1. As the one-percent pits brother agains brother and neighbor agains neighbor so that we are easier to manipulate. United we would stand up to the fascists.

    1. Absolutely. Of course they have been dumbing down the people for many decades to prepare for this. Hollywood has contributed with their so called “reality” shows so that people are so ego-centric and haveent a clue. Sorry, I’ve been jumping on my soapbox a bit lately…

      1. That’s why I talk to my children about the World Wars since preschool… one is just like me and really understands and even lectures her brother about why history is important….

    2. We Remember Them by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

      At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them.
      At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them.
      At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them.
      At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them.
      At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them.
      At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.
      As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them.

      When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them.
      When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them.
      When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them.
      When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them.
      When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them.
      For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, We remember them.

    1. We Remember Them by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

      At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them.
      At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them.
      At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them.
      At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them.
      At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them.
      At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.
      As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them.

      When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them.
      When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them.
      When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them.
      When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them.
      When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them.
      For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, We remember them.

  4. Thank you for including this. It’s very moving, and it needs to be remembered.

    Years and years ago, my partner and I went into a museum of the Resistance in France. It too was very moving–and we were its only visitors.

    1. That would be a fascinating museum, I shall have to track it down. I’ve known a number of survivors of the Holocaust both in NYC and elsewhere. I’ve heard their stories and even a ton of documentation. Maya and Meyer Kornblit were two of those people. Their son was a producer for PBS in Washington back in the late 70’s early 80’s and while visiting Israel, he spoke to someone, distant relative, who mentioned having a letter from Chaim (Manya’s brother) after the war. As far as both Manya and Meyer knew, all the family was gone. Michael took his information and his position with PBS and investigated. He found Chaim and his wife living in Newcastle on Thyme there in England. This was around 1982-1983. It was on the news in the UK and the States. Manya and family went to meet her long lost brother and a month later her brother came to our town and we had a big celebration and dinner for them. That was on the news as well and Michael and an associate wrote a book about it all. The title: Until We Meet Again. Much of this is available online.

      1. Whew.

        I’d always assumed my family had come out of the Holocaust untouched, but recently a cousin I never knew appeared, tracing down family history, and the family tree he put together included a couple of people who died in Auschwitz. It was a strange thing, how strongly it hit me when what was already a tragedy came that much closer to me. It makes no particular sense, but it’s true.

      2. There is a tendency to want to believe that such things can’t or won’t touch us. The truth is, when it touches one, it touches us all.

  5. I live in hope that the world will one day free it’s self of the cruelty and hardship of conflict and fear that causes people to lose site of their humanity. When we can embrace our own humanity and compassion and that we are all interconnected we can live in peace free of facism. Recent politics being what they are, this seems like a far away dream. Thank you for reminding people of the sins of the past and I hope we can learn from such dark parts of history.

  6. I pressed the like button only in support of your wishing to to keep these atrocities in our memories. They must never be forgotten. I have no more words .💜

    1. Now if there were a few thousand more like Greta and people would actually listen and act to save our planet. They don’t give it a thought. The planet may survive but the species will not. Sorry, I’m back up on my soapbox… xx

      1. I agree. We need to listen to wise people and think more and then also act. Idiots have far more space than they should have today. We need to change that by being wiser.

      2. By accepting individual responsibility and holding others accountable as needed and there are oceans of criminals that need to be held accountable, NOW! Thank you Anna and I turn the soapbox back over to you.

      3. Thanks! I will give this much thoughts. We need to be more wise in the future but right now it seems to go the other way. Too much idiots in the world in leading places right now.

      4. Unfortunately, we need to act now! Why do you think education has been so poor in those countries. I hate to think where I would be if I had depended soley on the schools. I was fortunate to have neighbours teaching me to read at three years of age and an insatiable appetite to read and exteme curiosity which was not encouraged in school.

    1. Thank you. I am quite short and the photos and such were in high slanted cases which make taking pictures difficult for me. But I couldn’t resist trying and ended up having to share what I had…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s